San Antonio Museum or Art

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Latin American Folk Art Exhibition to open at SAMA April 6

Pasión Popular: Spanish and Latin American Folk Art from the Cecere Collection

“You’ve never seen anything like this,” says Marion Oettinger, curator of Latin American Art at SAMA and the upcoming exhibition Pasión Popular: Spanish and Latin American Folk Art from the Cecere Collection. “These are remarkable pieces—there are no clichés here. The pieces are unique and for the most part very rare.”

The exhibition features 200 of the nearly 400 works that have been donated to SAMA by collector Peter P. Cecere over the past 10 years. Cecere was a career foreign service officer who collected folk art for more than 50 years. For Cecere, folk art was a passionate pursuit and a means for exploring cultural patterns and social structures of his host countries.

Pasión Popular is organized by function: The Faces of Folk Art, The Beauty of Utility, The Shape of Belief, The Art of Diversion, and Art for the Sake of Beauty and Memory. From the eighteenth century to modern times, the exhibition presents objects originating from different Hispanic cultures of Spain and Mexico, as well as Latin American countries such as Guatemala, Peru and Chile.

Objects include utilitarian ones such as bowls, oil jars, and bread stamps for personalizing loaves in communal ovens, as well as shop signs, puppets, dance masks, toys, carousel figures, and religious paintings. They are crafted of everything from wood, cloth, and metal, to tin, leather, and cork. “Folk art is ephemeral: the objects are made to use and use up. Even items that were designed to be more permanent are often made from fleeting, inexpensive materials,” says Oettinger. “To find pieces from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries of this caliber is pretty extraordinary.”

The Peter P. Cecere gift is the most important addition to SAMA’s folk art collection since the Rockefeller/Winn donations of 1985, which form the foundation of the Museum’s outstanding Latin American collection. Pasión Popular will be on view through August 11. 

cherub
CHERUB, 18th C.
Central Spain
Wood, glass; 16 ½ x 10 ¼ x 6 ¾ in
San Antonio Museum of Art, Gift of Peter P. Cecere
99.21.3
Photography by Peggy Tenison
Butcher's shop sign
BUTCHER’S SHOP SIGN, ca. 1910- 1920
Barcelona, Spain
Iron, cloth wrapped wire; 34 x 121 x 18 in.
Peter P. Cecere Collection, Woodville, Virginia
L.2012.58
Photography by Franklin Schmidt
SAN_JACINTO_YAGUACHI
SAN JACINTO YAGUACHI, 19th C.
Ecuador
Oil on tin; 21 x 15 in.
San Antonio Museum of Art, Gift of Peter P. Cecere
99.21.1
Photography by Peggy Tenison
SCRAPERS-AND-CHOPPERS
SCRAPERS AND CHOPPERS (5), 19th C.
Spain
Metal, wood; avg. 6 x 4 in.
San Antonio Museum of Art, Gift of Peter P. Cecere
2006.1.66-70
Photography by Peggy Tenison
BUST OF WOMAN
BUST OF WOMAN, late 20th C.
Mexico
Wood; 25 ½ x 16 x 11 in.
San Antonio Museum of Art, Gift of Peter P. Cecere
2006.1.111
Photography by Peggy Tenison
CAT MASK
CAT MASK, ca. 1960
Bolivia
Painted tin; 8 ½ x 10 in.
San Antonio Museum of Art, Gift of Peter P. Cecere
2006.1.207
Photography by Peggy Tenison
BOXERS
BOXERS, mid- 20th Century
Ecuador
Painted wood; avg. 13 ¾ x 5 x 4 1/2 in.
San Antonio Museum of Art, Gift of Peter P. Cecere
2006.1. 289a, b
Photography by Peggy Tenison

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The San Antonio Museum of Art is housed in the historic Lone Star Brewery along the Museum Reach section of the San Antonio River Walk near downtown. SAMA’s collection contains more than 25,000 works of art representing cultures from around the world and over 5,000 years of history.

SAMA is open Tuesday, Friday and Saturday: 10:00 a.m.--9:00 p.m.
Wednesdays and Thursday: 10:00 a.m.--5:00 p.m.
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